XSCAPE: Sales & Chart Performance (Week 1)

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The new Epic Records album ‘XSCAPE’ featuring eight remixes of previously unreleased Michael Jackson recordings has now been available in stores around the world for up to two weeks, depending on which market, while the project’s lead single “Love Never Felt So Good” has been out for just over three weeks.

Fans have been fed reports from The Estate of Michael Jackson that the single and album have been a global smash hits, but exactly how successful have they been so far? Let’s take a look at the cold hard sales figures, iTunes rankings and chart positions they have achieved in a select few markets since their release.

First up we will take a look at the overall worldwide sales and rankings of the “Love Never Felt So Good” single. Released in two different versions, one a solo rendition by Michael Jackson alone and the other a duet with Justin Timberlake, the single has indeed been a global smash hit. Individually the duet version has peaked at #3 and the solo version at #5 on the Worldwide iTunes Song Chart. However, when combining the ranking data of both the solo and duet versions “Love Never Felt So Good” has technically been the overall #1 iTunes song worldwide for a staggering 20 consecutive days – from May 3 to May 23, 2014 and counting!

As far as the album goes, ‘XSCAPE’ made its debut at #1 on the Worldwide Album Chart this week with sales of 365,000 copies across the globe. This is a reasonably good number, but pales in comparison to sales of 2010’s controversial ‘MICHAEL’ album, which shifted 734,000 copies in its first week and 502,000 copies in its second week.

The difference between the ‘XSCAPE’ album and the ‘MICHAEL’ album is timing. ‘MICHAEL’ was released less than two weeks before Christmas, on December 14, 2010 therefor benefiting from strong festive season sales in weeks one and two. May, however, is not typically a strong sales month.

In the United States ‘XSCAPE’ had a reasonably strong first week, selling 157,000 copies to land a #2 debut on the Billboard 200 album chart behind The Black Keys new album ‘Turn Blue’ which sold 164,000 copies. In 2010 the ‘MICHAEL’ album sold 228,000 copies in its first week – not all that many more than ‘XSCAPE’ considering that, as explained above, ‘MICHAEL’ benefited from festive season sales during the lead up to Christmas.

The single “Love Never Felt So Good” landed Michael Jackson a brand new slice of chart history when it rocketed thirteen spots up the Hot 100 chart to #9 after selling another 110,000 copies this week. This incredible feat means the King of Pop is the only artist in the history of recorded music to have Top 10 hits in five consecutive decades – in this case the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s. To date the single has sold 291,000 digital copies in the U.S.

“Love Never Felt So Good” also became an official UK Top 10 hit last week when it rose to #8 on the UK Singles Chart. This week, however, it dropped two spots to #10. The ‘XSCAPE’ album debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart last week with sales in excess of 60,000 copies in the United Kingdom. During the week the Official Charts Company forecast that ‘XSCAPE’ would drop three places this week, but stronger-than-expected sales saw it drop just one spot, ending up at #2 on the UK Albums Chart today.

One country in which the ‘XSCAPE’ album has made a surprise upward trend this week is Australia. The album debuted at #3 last week after selling 6,666 copies down under. This week, however, ‘XSCAPE’ finds itself moving up by one spot to #2 on the ARIA Albums Chart. The album has sold 12,500 copies in Australia since its May 13 release. “Love Never Felt So Good” spends its second consecutive week at #28 on the ARIA Singles Chart.

Follow Damien Shields on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with Michael Jackson-related news.

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